SafeToNet acquires German mobile phone stores to safeguard children online
SafeToNet, one of the world's leading cyber safety specialists that safeguards children online, has acquired 77 German mobile phone stores previously owned by Fexcom GMBH and One Brand Solutions GMBH. The stores which sell network contracts from Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone will be renamed as SafeToNet Family Stores and will sell smart phones and tablets that are pre-loaded or bundled with SafeToNet's online safety software.
SafeToNet's safeguarding technology runs on a child's smart device and uses AI to detect and filter harmful content in real-time. It is in use by children in over 110 countries around the world but this is the first time it has been included with the sale of any smart device irrespective of manufacturer.
Richard Pursey, executive chairman of SafeToNet, said: "This is a critical development in tackling online harms such as bullying, abuse, aggression and sextortion. We are bringing cyber safety to the high street and helping parents to safeguard their children when buying a phone or tablet. The SafeToNet Family Stores will employ cyber-safety experts who will guide and advise parents and children on how to keep safe online.
"This marks a pivotal moment in online safety. We have been frustrated with the social networks and messaging apps who have failed to keep children safe on their platforms. We are also disappointed with the handset manufacturers who should not make a phone for children that do not have safety features as standard. As a result, we decided to own our own mobile phone company and engage more closely with the Telco's so that we can make a positive change for children online. Parents can now buy a smart device for their child that will automatically be safe out of the box."
Georg Schmitz-Axe, Head of Partners at Deutsche Telekom said: "The SafeToNet Family Stores are an excellent and promising asset to our retail presence in Germany. We fully support SafeToNet's mission to safeguard children and look forward to collaborating on this project for years to come."
Gottfried Werner, CEO SafeToNet EMEA said "This acquisition increases the awareness of online harms across Germany. The Family Stores will sell a wide range of products suitable for children, including SafeToPlay, a product that allows young children to safely play online. Too many children are harmed online and this initiative will make a positive difference to so many."